Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-23-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Just as we have the familiar post-Christmas story of the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child, we hear today the story of the journey to Emmaus-  a beloved and familiar post-Resurrection story.

Both are significant because they offer ideas of how disciples through the generations may continue to interact with Jesus. Relatively few individuals actually encountered Jesus in the time of His earthly ministry, and fewer still saw Him after His glorious resurrection from the dead. The vast majority of disciples would need to encounter and engage with Jesus in a different, but equally potent, way. The experience of Cleopas and his companion offers indications of how this will be possible. They are walking along with Jesus, having no idea of who He is. They begin to get a stirring in their hearts when He is discussing and revealing the Sacred Scripture to them, and the revelation is complete when He breaks the bread.
We know that Jesus is truly present today and always in the Word, in the Eucharist, and in the community gathered together. I felt this so poignantly in the beginning of the pandemic, when the only way we could be together was virtually. It was certainly a surreal experience to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord in an empty Basilica in 2020. However, despite the strangeness, there was never a doubt in my mind as to the presence of Jesus in our community, albeit in a necessarily novel way, and to the true presence of Jesus in the manner we, and so many disciples before and after us will encounter Him – in the Scriptures, in the Eucharist, and in one another.
The Emmaus disciples pose an important question after their encounter with the Risen Christ: “Were our hearts not burning within us?” Theologian and civil rights activist Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” The fifty days of Easter offer us an opportunity to reflect on our call to follow the Risen Lord. As a part of this, I invite you to join me in considering the people, places, work, and social causes that make us come alive in our discipleship. Let’s continue to live in Easter H.O.P.E and adopt a Godly attitude – Holy Optimism Pervading Everything.
I wish you and your loved ones continued Easter blessings of good health, new hope, and burning hearts,

Fr. Paul 

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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